The message to rejuvenated Portsmouth man left in cold under Kenny Jackett

Ben Close is set to be given a new lease of life under the new Pompey regime.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 6:30 am

And head coach, Danny Cowley, has backed the homegrown midfielder to benefit from given a clean slate after his arrival.

Close once again made an impact coming off the bench against Ipswich on Saturday, in a similar vein to the manner he impacted the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley when being introduced in the second half.

It’s been a tough season for the Southsea lad, however, after he was largely frozen out of a starting position under Kenny Jackett.

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Cowley delivered an assessment of the 24-year-old which underlined he knows what he’s getting from him moving forward.

He said: ‘I like Ben, a really good player.‘He trained really well when we came in.

‘It was really tight over the decision between him and Andy (Cannon).

Ben Close comes on for Andy Cannon on Saturday

‘Andy gives you so much energy and he’s so dynamic.

‘But Ben gives you different qualities.

‘What Ben gives you is that calmness, that positional intelligence and he’s a great interceptor, great anticipator and he reads the game really well.

‘He’s a really clean receiver of the ball and his body position to receive is always really good.

‘His range of passing is really good as well, so he has some good qualities for us.’

Despite just favouring Cannon on Saturday, Cowley made it clear it is now a new beginning for the academy graduate.

He added: ‘He can (benefit from a clean slate), all of them can. We come in with no agenda.

‘I will pick what I see and I will try to help them all.

‘I will wake up every single morning with the target of trying to improve them all.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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